"When they approach the holiest of the holy things: Aaron and his sons shall come and appoint each man." (Num. 4:19)

Allegorically, "the holiest of the holy things" represents the highest levels of spiritual life and Divine consciousness. It often happens that when we strive to reach our potential in spiritual matters, we encounter various forces of opposition. Sometimes these are other people’s ridicule and hostility; sometimes there are inner voices of doubt. The Torah teaches us here that the proper response to these challenges is not to battle them, but rather to confront them with the power of Aaron, the peacemaker. [see Avot. 1:12]

...turning an adversary into an ally is the most complete victory possible.

The power of loving-kindness mitigates the severity of the other’s negativity, or often eliminates it altogether. And turning an adversary into an ally is the most complete victory possible.

In Kabbalah, the Levites personify gevura (restraint and judgment), while the priests (and Aaron in particular) personify chesed (love and kindness). In the Temple service, the music of the Levites inspired the worshippers to scale the heights of holiness and purity, while the sacrifices offered by the priests drew down Divine blessing and revelation. By placing the priests in charge of the Levites, the Torah here indicates that while both chesed and gevura are necessary and complimentary facets of spiritual life, we should nonetheless ensure that chesed sweetens gevura -– that love temper fear and kindness direct strictness.


Adapted by Moshe Yakov Wisnefsky from Hitva’aduyot 5748, vol. 3, pp. 405-407
Copyright 2001 Chabad of California / http://www.LAchumash.org